Trump Staff & Appts. w/ Ethical Problems

Below are a list of Staff picked by Trump with serious ethical concerns and problems.

Trump Advisors

Jared Kushner – Senior Advisor

Jared Corey Kushner is an American investor, real-estate developer, newspaper publisher, husband of Ivanka Trump (Trump’s daughter) and senior advisor to President Donald Trump.  He took over his dad’s real-estate business when his dad went to prison.  Despite having no political experience and an unsuccessful business career Trump has put him in charge of a massive amount negotiating peace in the Middle East, solving America’s opioid epidemic, diplomacy with Mexico and China, reforming care for veterans, reforming the criminal justice system and literally reinventing the entire government and making it work like a business.  Jared is currently being investigated for his ties with Russia when they interfered in the 2016 election and his family’s company is being accused of raising $150 million from Chinese investors in exchange for US visas.

History of Jared and Ivanka

Russian Ties

Business Insider: Jared Kushner’s family is trying to raise $150 million from Chinese investors in exchange for US visas

Cosmopolitan: Who Is Jared Kushner? 20 Things You Need to Know About Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law.

Bloomberg: Kushners’ China Deal Flop Was Part of Much Bigger Hunt for Cash

Now This Politics: Kushner Invites Company His Brother Owns To White House Technology Meeting

NY Times: Kushner’s Family Business Received Loans After White House Meetings

Ivanka Trump – Assistant to President

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Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Trump, is serving in her father’s administration as assistant to the president. She assumed this official, unpaid federal government position after multiple ethics concerns were raised about her access to sensitive material and her business ties to the policies she could be influencing while not being held to the same ethics restrictions as a federal employee because she is considered part of her father’s inner circle, instead of a federal employee.

Conflicts of Interest

Bloomberg:  Your Guide to Ivanka Trump’s Potential Conflicts of Interest

Kellianne Conway – Counselor

Conway was Trump’s campaign manager before she became Counselor to president Trump.  She is the first woman to ever successfully run a presidential campaign.  She has been a Republican Party campaign manager, strategist, and pollster, and was formerly president and CEO of The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend.  Since becoming Counselor Conway has created many political controversies such as making up a terrorist attack called “Bowling Green massacre“, defending Trump’s blatant lies by selling them as “alternative facts”, violating ethic rules by advertising Ivanka Trump products during political interviews, and being banned from the Morning Joe News Program for repeatedly spreading lies.

Conway’s “Alternative Facts” Interview

Conway’s Interview Strategy

Conway told people on Medicaid who will lose coverage from the GOP plan to get a job when most of them already do

Conway’s Feelings about Trump Before she was Hired By Trump

Slate: Top Democrat Demands Clarity on Kellyanne Conway’s Role With Her Polling Company

VICE: Six top Trump advisers have ties to FAIR, a radical anti-migration group

Buzzfeed: Betsy DeVos’s Hiring Of A Former For-Profit College Dean To Head Fraud Unit Spurs Anger

Stephen Miller – Senior Advisor for Policy

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Before becoming Trumps’ Senior Advisor for Policy Miller was the communications director for Jeff Sessions when he was an Alabama senator and before that Miller was . the press secretary to Tea Party movement supporters Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Congressman John Shadegg.  One of the first things Miller did as Trump’s Senior Advisor was to help draft and roll out the disastrous Muslim Ban.  Miller has a close relationship with Breitbart News and Steve Bannon and shares many of the same ideological views such as anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim.

History of Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller Goes on Interview Rants After Federal Court Stops their Muslim Immigration Ban

The Atlantic: How Stephen Miller’s Rise Explains the Trump White House

Regulatory Czar – Carl Icahn

Since Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, was named by President Trump as a special adviser on regulatory matters.  He has been busy working behind the scenes to try to revamp an obscure Environmental Protection Agency rule that governs the way corn-based ethanol is mixed into gasoline nationwide.  Also Mr. Icahn is a majority investor in CVR Energy, an oil refiner based in Sugar Land, Tex., that would have saved $205.9 million last year had the regulatory fix he is pushing been in place.  Like Trump, Icahn has not announced any plans to sell his businesses to avoid conflicts of interest that might arise from his work for the administration. He apparently won’t file tax returns or go through any sort of congressional vetting.

After Carl Icahn left the white house he sold $31.3m of shares in a company heavily dependent on steel imports last week, shortly before Trump’s announcement of new tariffs sent its shares plummeting, bringing accusations of insider trading.

NY Times: Icahn Raises Ethics Flags With Dual Roles as Investor and Trump Adviser

NY Mags: Trump Adviser Carl Icahn Is a Blinding Supernova of Conflicts of Interest

The Guardian: Ex-Trump adviser sold $31m in shares days before president announced steel tariffs

Sebastian Gorka – Counterterrorism Adviser


The Forward reports Thursday that officers of Vitézi Rend, an anti-Semitic, quasi-Nazi Hungarian nationalist group, say Gorka is a sworn member. Gorka wore a medal typically worn by Vitézi Rend members during Trump’s inauguration ball, but said at the time that it was a gesture honoring his late father.  Gorka was previously national-security editor at BreitbartGorka is known to be outspokenly anti-Islam.

The Atlantic: Sebastian Gorka and the White House’s Questionable Vetting

Vanity Fair: 5 Things to Know About Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Jihad Whisperer

John Kelly – Secretary of Homeland Security

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Federal law requires Senate-confirmed nominees to list all positions at outside organizations on ethics forms that are vetted by the Office of Government Ethics and released to both the public and lawmakers.  Retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly did not disclose on his ethics form that he was listed as a vice chairman at the Spectrum Group, a defense contractor lobbying firm and was on the board of the Michael Baker International and Sallyport Global, two defense contractors that do business with the U.S. government.

Intercept: Homeland Security Pick Gen. John Kelly Fails to Disclose Ties to Defense Contractors

Trump Executive Branch

Jeff Sessions – Attorney General

Jeff was rejected for a federal judgeship by fellow Republicans for a long history of racist behavior and beliefs, including saying the only problem with the Ku Klux Klan was marijuana use among members. He believes that the Voting Rights Act is “intrusive legislation,” allegedly claimed that he wished he could decline all civil rights cases, and openly opposes birthright citizenship.

Some things that Sessions has done as Attorney General right away

Connections between Private Prisons and Sessions Orders

Sessions Commits Perjury

Pro Publica: How Jeff Sessions Helped Kill Equitable School Funding in Alabama

The Atlantic: What Jeff Sessions’s Role in Prosecuting the Klan Reveals About His Civil-Rights Record

CNN: DOJ to retry woman who laughed during Sessions’ confirmation hearing

Washington Post: Sessions greenlights police to seize cash, property from people suspected of crimes but not charged

Blade: Sessions undoes DOJ support for trans workers under Title VII

Betsy DeVos – Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos, an heiress, is married to the billionaire heir to the Amway fortune, Dick DeVos. Together they have spent millions advancing a radical school privatization agenda, including taxpayer vouchers for private and religious schools, and electing politicians across the nation willing to advance that agenda.  DeVos who has no education degree or teaching experience, has never attended a public school or sent her children to one, and supports the funding of for-profit Christian schools over public ones.

Some of the first things she did as Secretary of Education was to remove

  • Student loan protections (she has investments into a Student Debt Collection Firm)
  • Transgender bathroom protections
  • The Borrower Defense to Repayment Rule (protects students against colleges found guilty of fraud)
  • Gainful Employment Regulation (protects students who have too much debt and not enough income)

Washington Post: A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education

PR Watch: Betsy DeVos Ethics Report Reveals Ties to Student Debt Collection Firm

Chicago Tribune: Betsy DeVos undoes Obama’s student loan protections

WP: DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for disabled students

NPR: Betsy DeVos Signals A Pullback On Campus Sex Misconduct Enforcement

Steve MnuchinTreasury Secretary

Steve Mnuchin, known as the “Foreclosure king” is a former Goldman Sachs executive.  He ran a bank called a “foreclosure machine” that kicked people out of their houses, using techniques so coldblooded a federal judge called them “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive,” foreclosing on more than 36,000 homes. He and his family pocketed $3.2 million in fake profits from notorious Ponzi scheme fraudster Bernie Madoff.  Mnuchin has said his “number one priority on the regulatory side is attacking Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms” which are Wall St. regulations and consumer protections to protect consumers and prevent another financial crisis like the 2008 recession.

During Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing he failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.

Rex TillersonSecretary of State

As CEO of Exxon, Tillerson has specialized in partnering with dictators and human rights abusers from Equatorial Guinea to Qatar to Kazakhstan. But his closest ties are with Russia, where after billions of dollars in oil deals Vladimir Putin awarded Tillerson Russia’s Order of Friendship. Exxon even complained international sanctions against Russia cost the company $1 billion. Under Tillerson’s leadership, Exxon has faced securities fraud investigations for lying to investors and funding climate deniers decades after it knew the truth about climate change.

History of Rex Tillerson

Russian Oil Connections

Wilbur Ross – Secretary of Commerce

Wilbur Ross, is a Wall Street billionaire who made his money as a notorious “vulture investor.” The so-called “king of bankruptcy,” he offshored American textile jobs to China and Mexico and 12 coal workers controversially died at his mine in West Virginia.  Ross bailed out Donald Trump’s failing casinos in Atlantic City, buying himself a seat in Trump’s crony cabinet.

Scott Pruitt – Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Scott Pruitt is a notorious shill for the polluting fossil fuel industry – which has given him more than $300,000 since 2002. Pruitt erroneously claims climate change is “far from settled” among scientists and brags he has “led the charge… against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” As Oklahoma Attorney General, he has repeatedly sued the EPA to attack the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule, even passing off as his own a letter criticizing the EPA written and delivered to him by a big oil company’s top lobbyist.

Tom Price – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Tom Price is an Orthopedic Surgeon who, as a member of congress has strongly opposed access to contraception, LGBTQ rights, abortion services, and Obamacare. He is an advocate of replacing Medicare, one of the most popular health insurance programs in the country, with a voucher system.  As a congressman he has voted against funding for Planned Parenthood, regulating tobacco and paternity leave. In 2015, Price wrote the language for a bill that is now seen as one of the main paths forward to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act.
While in Congress Price acted to help kill a rule that would hurt drug company profits shortly after his broker bought him up to $90,000 worth of pharmaceutical stock.  Price has traded more than $185,000 worth of stock in health-care, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies since 2012, as he sponsored legislation that could have affected the value of those firms,

Dr. Ben Carson – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has no experience in government, running a large bureaucracy or housing policy and publicly waffled over whether to join the administration.   He will oversee an agency with a $47 billion budget, bringing to the job a philosophical opposition to government programs that encourage what he calls “dependency” and engage in “social engineering.”

Background of Ben Carson

Carson Believes Slaves were Immigrants

Carson’s Corruption


RAW Story: Ben Carson: Homeless shelters shouldn’t be ‘comfortable settings’ or else people might ‘just stay’ in them

Washington Post: Carson compares slaves to immigrants coming to ‘a land of dreams and opportunity’

Mick Mulvany

Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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Who Is? Who is Mick Mulvaney?

Rick Perry – Secretary of Energy

The former Texas governor will lead the federal agency he said he wanted to eliminate but couldn’t name in his famous “oops” moment during a 2011 GOP primary debate. Until recently, Perry sat on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. Click here to learn more about Perry.

Rick Perry Forgets Agency He Wants to Abolish, That He Now Will Lead

Julie Kirchner – Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman

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As the former director of FAIR, an anti-immigration group with ties to eugenicist and white supremacist groups (read more about FAIR) and listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC), Kirchner advocated harsh restrictions on immigrants.  As the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman she is now in charge of providing immigrants assistance from handling a wide range of legal immigration matters, including applications for citizenship and green cards, granting legal status to those in extreme circumstances, such as refugees and asylum seekers and adjudicating applications from undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, sometimes referred to as “dreamers” or DACA recipients.  Immigrant advocates are very concern Kirchner will use this position, made to help immigrants, to instead hurt them.

Pro Publica: Former Director of Anti-Immigration Group Set to Be Named Ombudsman at U.S. Immigration Agency

SPLC: Federation for American Immigration Reform

SPLC: The Nativist Lobby: Three Faces of Intolerance

Jon Feere – Adviser to Thomas D. Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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Feere was a former legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, which is one of the many anti-immigration groups founded and funded by eugenicist John Tanton, who operates a racist publishing company and has written that to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority” is required.  Feere is also an advocate of ending birthright citizenship, a provision in the 14th Amendment that states all born in the United States are automatically granted American citizenship.

SPLC: The Nativist Lobby: Three Faces of Intolerance

SPLC: Another Anti-Immigrant Extremist to Join the Trump Administration

Ajit Pai – Chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

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Trump appointed Pai as the Chairman of the FCC.  He is a strong advocate for deregulation and a former lawyer to Verizon who is one of the leading lobbyist to end net neutrality which Pai is currently doing.


Reuters: U.S. FCC chairman plans fast-track repeal of net neutrality: sources

The Week: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is under investigation for possible collusion with Sinclair Broadcasting

Lynne Patton – Head New York’s Federal Housing Office


Trumps Family Wedding Planner who organized golf tournaments on the president’s courses and planned his son Eric’s wedding, will soon oversee billions of federal dollars as the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New York and New Jersey office. Lynne Patton had been working as a senior adviser and director of public engagement at HUD for several months before receiving this position.  She has no experience in housing policy.

NY Times: Trump Family Wedding Planner to Head New York’s Federal Housing Office

Current Nominees

David Bernhardt – Interior’s Deputy Secretary

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David Bernhardt will work on policies that directly benefit clients for whom he lobbied just before getting the job.   Bernhardt’s works for the lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck where he runs the firm’s natural resources department and has lobbied for mining companies, oil and gas companies. His firm has a financial stakes in projects that as Interior’s Deputy Secretary he’ll be overseeing, such as a project that would pump groundwater in California to sell to private water companies and an open-pit copper mine in Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains waiting to be approved.  Bernhardt also lobbied for legislation that would weaken water quality protections in California for the benefit of the state’s massive agriculture industry.

Common Cause:  Eco Groups: Trump’s Interior Deputy Pick Is “Walking Conflict of Interest”

ThinkProgress: Trump nominates deputy Interior secretary with serious conflicts of interest

Withdrawn/Removed Appointees

Stephen Bannon – Chief Strategist

Stephen Bannon’s,  former right-wing fake news media executive for Breitbart News, created Breitbart into an online destination for white nationalism, anti semitism, xenophobia, sexism, the spreading of lies and conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric.  “Breibart” which he described in 2016 as “the platform for the alt-right”

Horrible Titles Steve Bannon Published at Briebart


Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy

• “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew

• “World Health Organization Report: Trannies 49 Xs Higher HIV Rate

“Roger Stone: Huma Abedin ‘Most Likely a Saudi Spy’ With ‘Deep, Inarguable

“There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews”

“Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs”

“The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off”

In the August before the 2016 election became Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign manager.  After Trump won the election he made Bannon  his chief strategist, the highest advisor in the nation to the president.  Since then Bannon has pushed many far right policies and executive orders, including the one that put him on the National Security Council, which supposedly Trump didn’t even read before signing.  Bannon has since been removed from the council as a result of public outcry, but is still allowed to attend any meeting and does.  Below are different insights into the life and rise of Steve Bannon. 

History of Steve Bannon’s Ideology

Learn about Steve Bannon’s history, views and financial backers

Michael Flynn – National Security Adviser

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Michael has personal and financial ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish authoritarian President Erdogan and has repeatedly peddled anti-Muslim bigotry, and spreads incendiary fake news articles through twitter.

NPR: Ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Embroiled In Russia Controversy

Washington Post: The fall of Michael Flynn: A timeline

The New Yorker:  Michael Flynn, General Chaos

Andrew F. Puzder – Labor Secretary

Mr. Trump’s expected choice is the chief executive of CKE Restaurants — and a donor to his campaign.  As the CEO of Hardess Puzder opposes fair wages overtime pay and Obamacare.  His companies had the fourth highest incidents of “wage theft” reported to the government. The fast food executive withdrew his nomination to be President Trump’s labor secretary amid growing doubts among Republican senators that he can be confirmed.

New York Times: Andrew Puzder Withdraws From Consideration as Labor Secretary

WP: How Key Trump Associates Have Been Linked to Russia

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Leading Trump Funders

The Mercers

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When Trump’s campaign began to fall apart in 2016, the Billionaire Mercers offered up their own massive political infrastructure of non profits, super PACS, media companies think tanks, and political strategist such as Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, which saved Trump’s campaign from demise.  With their support came their agenda from climate change denying, tax reform that benefited the rich, anti United Nations policies, and anti IRS policies.

The Real News Network: The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Bannon and Trump’s Presidency

Washington Post: The Mercers and Stephen Bannon: How a populist power base was funded and built


Additional Appointees with Conflict Interests

NPR: Trump Picks Oklahoma Congressman To Head NASA

Now This Politics: Trump’s pick for the USDA’s chief scientist isn’t a scientist at all – he’s a homophobic radio host

Democracy Now: Trump Adviser Katharine Gorka Helped Defund Anti-Hate Group

Washington Post: Trump to tap longtime coal lobbyist for EPA’s No. 2 spot


Learn More

Track all of Trump’s Appointments at this Site

WP: How Key Trump Associates Have Been Linked to Russia

WP : Trump Administration Appointee Tracker Database

The Hill: Ethics office accuses GOP of rushing Trump Cabinet confirmations

The New York Times: Donald Trump’s Cabinet is Complete. Here’s the Full List.

State of the Swamp

The New Yorker: The Danger of President Pence